The art of understanding people is even more important in a company. Either an employee, the boss or a manager you getting the most from a workplace involves knowing how to deal with different personalities.
We summed up the most frequently met characters in seven main groups and draw a few guidelines for how to deal with them.
At the morning conference, Smith from the finance department is constantly interrupting everybody. He is making fun of all the ideas since he always knows better even though “finances” are not a discussion subject today.
The head of marketing is yelling all day at everybody and nothing seems to be good enough today. That wrinkle on his shirt gave him a bad day and everybody should feel it because you are ALL working for him.
Crystal from HR knows everything about everybody and where she lacks information imagination kicks in. From how you should only drink green smoothies to what you did last week she surely knows it all. They might seem different but they all can be summed up in the same category: the bullies. The main weak point of bullies existing in a workspace is the way they affect productivity.
Different studies had the same conclusion: bullies are one of the main causes of low productivity and increasing absenteeism. Specialists have agreed that these personalities reduce efficacy and the loyalty of employees which can translate into higher costs with the recruiting process. Some “tough love” and putting pressure on employees might be useful but it should be the exception, not the rule. Some might even think that “Crystal” makes everyone aware of themselves and behave better at the workplace but the truth is that gossip doesn’t bring anything good in the company.
What should you do? If not in a leading position talking to HR could help. You shouldn’t just complain about anyone and everything but you could draw an attention to the fact that problems are created because of some behavior. If you are in the right position in the firm you should have a talk with employees with such behavior and decide if you should let them go or if the problem has a remedy. In the meantime try to stay away from them and keep conversations to a basic. Smile and go do your job without fussing too much about their toxic behavior.
The Funny Guy
We all know the showman who always his jokes with him wishing for everyone’s attention. You’re all covered in papers and don’t know how to finish your task faster and he just drops by to tell you funniest thing you ever heard.
You probably also met the guy who makes his team work on full speed to get things done faster than the deadline. Just in case something goes wrong. You just sent in your part and in a second everybody knows that “HE already finished all the tasks”. He gives advice about how you should manage a team because HIS team gets everything done on time.
A team is just as good as its leader and HIS team is the best. A person who needs too much attention can give you a hard time at work. Either you can’t concentrate either impossible levels of concentration are needed in order to get things done. The rockstars can be fun. Sometimes they do light up a room with a joke. Sometimes they push us to five the most - a little competition never hurt anyone! The problem tends to appear when their need of recognition is put above the need of others. Each and every individual needs recognition and a balance need to be found.
What can you do? The funny guy doesn’t seem to be the biggest problem in the picture. When he approaches you kindly explain you have a lot of work to do and you’ll catch up with him when you’re finished. And do catch up with him on that day! He’ll soon naturally start to understand when he should and should approach you and he’ll stick to that because he knows he’ll still get the attention he desires.When working with a rockstar boss things can get trickier. Try to ask for deadlines and explain if you can or can’t do things in that framework and why. If you wish for some recognition for your work just ask for feedback. It’s a great way to get recognition and a tool to get even better at your work.
The Shark is usually the wanna-be-boss who does everything to be the “teacher’s pet”. He sometimes is more than aware of every need of the big boss and usually a little bit too watchful to everyone’s mistakes.Be careful! He might even try to bad mouth the management just in order to use anything you say as leverage against you.The Shark might seem like a great asset for the company. Or at least for the boss.
He is aware of all problems in the company and knows how to “solve” them, he knows every need of the boss and seems to be a hardworking guy. How do you manage him? Don’t be his enemy, don’t be his friend! Keep a neutral tone, talk about the weather and keep it short. You don’t want to draw his attention in any way.
The Stressed Guy
He wants to get a coffee but the coffee machine is in the lobby and his laptop is in the office. And he is working on that laptop. How could he do both at the same time? And in a moment he is all stressed out. And everybody somehow is stressed out.
The question is - Why is everyone stressed? Because a cup of coffee needs to be carried and can’t walk by itself. The Stressed guy can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on everybody and the most helpful thing for him is time management. Whenever the chance occurs gift him with time management advice, books or even courses. The HR should normally take care of it but they can’t know everybody’s minus sides. Until then just get him a cup of coffee once in a while and everybody will be in peace. You can choose your friends but you can’t choose family and work colleagues but you have to talk to all them. Just keep in mind what these simple guidelines and more and more people will smile whenever they see you walk into the office. And time will pass easier with less drama.